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First reference: Don't Look Back
"Dyslexia" on Wikipedia

Developmental dyslexia is a condition or learning disability which causes difficulty with reading and writing. Its standard definition is a difficulty in reading and writing in spite of normal development of intelligence, cognitive and sensory abilities.

Afflicted Characters


Don't Look Back

While securing a crime scene, Matt's coworker mentions that the detective exam test scores have been posted. He consoles Matt about the negative results. Later, after Matt's suspect rescue of Molly Walker, Audrey Hanson asks if Matt's anger at failing the detective exam would drive him to set himself up as a hero.

One Giant Leap

At home, Janice Parkman thinks Matt is mad at her because she has succeeded and he has failed. Matt reads her thoughts that she wants him to leave; so he goes to a local L.A. bar.

Nothing to Hide

Matt's former partner, Tom McHenry tells Matt that Audrey put in a request to have Matt retake the detective exam as a series of interviews to accommodate his dyslexia. Matt claims he didn't know that was an option, but apparently Audrey pulled some strings since she's FBI. Verbally, Tom congratulates Matt and assures him he's going to pass the test this time; mentally, Tom thinks Matt is a loser and clueless.

Six Months Ago

Tom McHenry pulls up alongside Matt's police cruiser reminds him that the detective's exam is in an hour. Matt anxiously tells him that after today, he's going to be a different man.

At home, Matt reveals to Janice that he failed his exam again. She remarks on how much he studied, but Matt tells her he knows all the answers. He can't tell his superiors about his dyslexia or it could hurt his career. Matt hears a thought for the first time: Janice thinks Matt is a "hero". Matt complains that he's not moving up in his career — he's still directing traffic after eleven years.

Fight or Flight

In a nightmarish vision created by his father, Matt is confronted by a guard whose speech is slurred, distorted, and reversed.


  • Many people with dyslexia often find success in doing things orally, rather than on paper. For instance, dyslexic children may receive accommodations to have a test read to them, or to have someone else scribe their answers.
  • According to an interview with Joe Pokaski and Aron Coleite, the guard's backwards speech in Fight or Flight was meant as a reference to Matt's dyslexia.


  • In an interview Tim Kring said he has some undiagnosed form of dyslexia or another reading problem.

Medical Conditions edit

AneurysmCancerComaDepressionDyslexiaShanti virusSplit personality

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